If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you probably have many questions. What do I need to do in the days following my arrest? What penalties could I face? Where can I turn for help?
A Riverside DUI defense lawyer is the best resource for answering your questions and helping you build a strong legal defense. But, even a basic review of the DUI provisions that apply to your local area can benefit anyone facing accusations of drunk driving.
Immediate License Consequences
When you are pulled over for drunk driving, if you submit to a chemical test and it registers a BAC of 0.08 or greater, or if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended or revoked by the DMV. The DMV suspension or revocation is an immediate administrative action taken against your driving privileges only; it is independent of any criminal penalties that could be imposed by a court should you ultimately be convicted of DUI.
The length of your DMV suspension or revocation varies based on many factors. Generally, if you submitted to a chemical test, a first time DUI arrest will result in a four month suspension, while a second or subsequent offense within 10 years will mean a yearlong suspension. If you refused a chemical test, a one year suspension will follow a first offense, while a two year revocation will result from a second offense within 10 years.
After receipt of the suspension or revocation order, you have 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to show why your license suspension or revocation was not justified.
Drunk Driving Sentence Enhancement Factors
Remember, the automatic administrative license sanctions imposed by the DMV following a drunk driving arrest are distinct from punishments that could be imposed if you are later convicted of DUI. Additional license consequences, jail time, fines, mandatory treatment, the installation of an ignition interlock device and other penalties may be levied against you by the sentencing court.
Drunk driving offenses committed under certain conditions carry enhanced penalties that may be stacked on top of standard DUI sanctions. In California, among other things, DUI enhancements may be available for:
- Prior drunk driving convictions within the last 10 years
- Registering a BAC of 0.15 or higher
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing
- Having a passenger under the age of 14 in the vehicle
- Being arrested in certain sensitive areas, such as highway construction or school crossing zones
- Causing injury to or the death of another person
Get Help As Soon As Possible
The adverse licensing consequences of a DUI start almost immediately. It is imperative to begin planning your defense as soon as possible. An experienced and aggressive Riverside DUI defense lawyer can help you get your license back, challenge questionable evidence, keep you out of jail and see that your rights are protected. If you have been pulled over for drunk driving in Riverside, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.